Climate change adaptation – responding proactively to the effects of climate change

A kneeling woman picking fruit.
The SDC helps people adapt to the effects of climate change. © Neil Palmer (Flickr/CIAT)

The consequences of climate change affect people in developing countries in particular. For this reason, the SDC is helping population groups that are exposed and vulnerable to the effects of climate change to improve their livelihoods. People are thus able to take proactive measures to cope with the long-term consequences of climate change and extreme weather events. 

SDC focus

The SDC promotes development that takes the present and future effects of climate change into consideration. The main goal of climate change adaptation is to mitigate the negative effects of a changing climate on people and to help those affected to adapt.   The sustainable use of land, water and forest resources is crucial to achieving this goal. This is the only way to mitigate the long-term and often drastic consequences for the population of the creeping progression of climate change and of increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. The SDC supports partner countries in three principal areas: 

1. Promoting concrete climate adaptation strategies and measures

Example: With the Programme of adaptation to climate change in Peru (PACC) and the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), the SDC is helping to improve the livelihoods of mountain communities. Expertise from Switzerland and other countries helps the affected communities, as well as public and private institutions, to develop measures in the areas of water, food security and disaster risk reduction.

2. Underlying data for climate strategies

Example: The Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems (CATCOS) project helps developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia collect climate data used as the basis for climate strategies and measures.

3. National climate adaptation planning processes

Example: The SDC is assisting interested partner countries, including China, in drawing up national climate adaptation planning processes (NAPs) to enable them to develop integrated and coordinated solutions.

Background

Climate change affects the entire planet. However, the consequences of climate change vary enormously from one region to another because of different social and economic conditions. Socially and economically disadvantaged communities are particularly badly affected. Climate change exacerbates poverty, hunger and conflicts in the countries of the South in particular. The SDC is therefore committed to development that is climate compatible in the long term.

While people living in coastal regions are especially affected by rising sea levels, people in arid and desert regions are suffering from increasing water scarcity. Mountain regions, for their part, are experiencing flooding and mudslides ever more frequently. The livelihoods of the inhabitants of these regions are therefore in special need of protection.

Vulnerability and adaptability

Planning and implementing climate change mitigation measures requires technical expertise, financial resources and the commitment of political decision-makers. All of these are often in short supply in developing countries. Targeted measures can however reduce the climate risks faced by communities and preserve or even improve their livelihoods. For example, thanks to seasonal weather forecasts, smallholder farmers in Peru and India have been able to choose the optimal time to sow and harvest their crops, and have thereby markedly improved their yields.

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Current projects

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Clean Energy Policy (CEP)

01.06.2018 - 29.02.2020

India has put forth an ambitious plan for decarbonisation of its economy as part of the post 2020 Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Climate Agreement. The achievement of these targets needs development of appropriate energy transition in the coming two years (2018-19). This single-phase project will support the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation to setup a Platform which will deliberate on the energy choices and solutions.


Opérationnalisation de la filière semencière au Tchad

01.05.2018 - 30.11.2023

Au Tchad, le système de production agricole est rudimentaire et les rendements sont faibles. Le pays est régulièrement confronté à l’insécurité alimentaire. La semence est le principal intrant utilisé par les agriculteurs. C’est pourquoi, la DDC contribue à faciliter l’accès à des semences de qualité et adaptées à leur environnement. Ce programme permet aux exploitations familiales d’améliorer leur production et leur revenu et développe l’auto-emploi des femmes et des jeunes grâce à la multiplication de semences.


Clean Air China (CAC): Breaking Down the Dome: Sino-Swiss Cooperation on Air Pollution Source Apportionment for Better Air

01.05.2018 - 31.10.2022

The project will support the development of advanced air pollution source apportionment techniques with a Swiss and Chinese joint expert team to enable the design of more effective air pollution control policies beneficial for public health, the global climate and the environment. The techniques and experience of science-based policy making will be piloted in Chinese cities and shared with other developing countries strongly affected by air pollution to accelerate progress towards cleaner air.


REPIC: Interdepartementale Plattform zur Förderung der erneuerbaren Energien, der Ressourcen- und der Energieeffizienz in der internationalen Zusammenarbeit

01.04.2018 - 31.03.2022

Die REPIC Plattform zur Förderung der erneuerbaren Energien, der Ressourcen- und Energieeffizienz in der internationalen Zusammenarbeit ist eine gemeinsame Initiative des Staatssekretariates für Wirtschaft (SECO), des Bundesamtes für Energie (BFE), des Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU) und der Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (DEZA). REPIC ermöglicht die Unterstützung von Bottom-Up Pilotprojekten aus der Privatwirtschaft, der Zivilgesellschaft und der Akademie.


Integrated Health and Habitat Improvement (IHHI) Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Rasht Valley is the most neglected and fragile region in Tajikistan - the poorest country of the former Soviet Union republics. The region marked by a sluggish transition and fragility patterns – remnants of the Civil War in the country. This project will improve quality of living conditions of Rasht Valley’s population by increasing access to better quality drinking water, sanitation and healthcare services, as well as strengthening resilience of communities to the impact of natural hazards.


Cocoa value chain

Cocoa Chain Value Family

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2023

Actors in the Central American cocoa value chain improve their productivity, establish public-private alliances, respect economic, social and cultural rights, and reduce their environmental impact. Thanks to the program 4,500 producer families will increase their net annual income by at least 10%, while 4,000 young adults and 2,000 women gain access to sustainable jobs. This will boost the local economy in the poor and peripheral areas in which cocoa is grown.  


Support to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has been supporting the Climate and Clean Air Coalition since 2014. Today, the Coalition is a recognized platform bringing together country, inter-governmental and non-governmental partners to take action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. In the continuation of the programme, the Swiss contribution aims to build on previous success and achieve further emission reductions and increasing the climate resilience of poor population groups.


Energising Development - Support to the Energising Development (EnDev) Partnership

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2022

Providing sustainable access to modern and climate friendly energy services to households, health centres, schools, and small enterprises improves the lives of beneficiaries through, for example, reduced indoor air pollution; improved access to information and communication; enabling of revenue generating activities; and enhanced quality of public services; all while reducing CO2 emissions. The Energising Development Partnership (EnDev) is an impact oriented donor partnership supporting energy access.


lntegrated Health and Habitat lmprovement in the Rasht Valley, Tajikistan

01.01.2018 - 30.06.2022

Through the project the population living in one of the poorest and fragile regions of Tajikistan (Rasht Valley) will gain access to basic social services (water and health). The interventions in the selected watersheds will empower the local communities enabling their active participation in decision-making and effective management of the resources. As a result, people in the project area will adopt healthier, more environmentally sustainable, and disaster-safer behaviours.


Core Contribution for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 2018 - 2020

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

SDC has been granting core contributions to IUCN since 1997. The new Core Contribution for the period 2018 – 2020 aims to highlight IUCN’s comparative advantage and development relevance. With this core contribution SDC contributes to the implementation of the IUCN Programme 2017-2020 and in particular to the integration of healthy and restored ecosystems into SDGs water (SDG 6), climate change (SDG13), environment (14/15) and food security (SDG2).


Crop Trust – Genebank Platform 2018

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2018

The Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) safeguards globally important collections of crop diversity critical for improving food and nutrition security. Genebanks require constant maintenance. The Crop Trust Endowment Fund ensures the long-term funding for the maintenance of these genebanks. The unique bilateral contribution by Switzerland contributes to safeguarding (and building up of) the Endowment Fund.


Andean Regional Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (ARIACC)

15.12.2017 - 31.07.2024

The Andean Regional Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change builds on Swiss experience and aims at incorporating the resilience of poor rural Andean communities into national climate change adaptation (CCA) public policies, programs and intiatives of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Together with key stakeholders, it will promote the uptake of an integrated pro-poor approach, build on regional knowledge exchange and coordination, and articulate with the global CCA agenda

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